Friday, February 26, 2010

Hope in a Concrete Apartment

Green Pastures never got a review from me in this blog, so let me pause here and do that now. Our first appointment on Thursday morning was a stop at Green Pastures, a humanitarian service for disabled children under the age of 17. Green Pastures regularly handles over 200 cases of autism, head trauma, downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, and more. Yes, all in a 3 room, refurbished apartment!

But, Green Pastures is nothing like its name. Buried on the 2nd floor of a crowded concrete apartment complex we walked through the multi-locked steel plate door (common in KZ) and up some cracked tile steps to a 2+ bedroom apartment. This converted apartment is a beacon of HOPE for parents of disabled kids who have no real help for their struggling children. A small bedroom is their "administrative office" and another bedroom is sparsely outfitted with some rugs, pillows and random items that can help the children here. Another room boasts a donated, but new, powered physical therapy table.

In fact, Hope is one of the organization's names for this agency. Staffed with real professionals, I couldn't believe this talented line-up: a registered Dr. from Astana, an MD from Singapore, other supported physical therapists and support staff from Germany, KZ, and volunteers from the local fellowship. The parents of these patients stubbornly refuse to follow the advice of the majority of medical professionals who routinely shuffle these cases to neglectful government facilities. Or, worse yet, they regularly misdiagnose the condition of these people and prescribe too much of the wrong kind of medication.

Green Pastures' staff members, many of whom find support outside of KZ, build long term relationships with their patients' families in order to bring them to the One who gives true Hope.

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